Posts from the ‘Technology’ Category

Eastern Airlines Commercial [1965]

Glimpses of Lockheed, Boeing 720, and 727 airliners – in glorious Black & White.  I love the screech of a 1960s jet engine.  Rest In Peace Eastern Airlines [1926 – 1991]

EAL 727 N8154G

Courtesy Michael Bludworth (Creative Commons Lic.)

Vintage Cameras

Falcon Minette

Picked up some vintage cameras last weekend at a photography swap meet in Kent WA.  Well, actually I picked up two and BelRedRoad Jr. got the other pair!  He’s 10-years old and part of a generation that was “born digital” but now discovering analog everything – from film cameras and muscle cars to record players and metal Tonka trucks. While he does carry a 4MP digital camera when he goes on field trips etc, he knows how much film I shoot and that analog cameras offer a lot of variety and visual candy.  And on Saturday there was plenty of candy to be had.  Aside from cameras, we also picked up about 20 rolls of film, lenses cases, and a couple issues of 1930s photography magazines.  Lots of great stuff came home in my backpack.

Check out what we found on our rounds (more about the awesome wood table at the bottom of this post):

The Falcon Minette above is tiny!  I originally bought the thing because it was cute and seemed like it might make a good display piece; then I discovered it was still usable.  The Minette is made of Bakelite and is just big enough to fit a roll of 127 film – a smaller version of medium-format film which is still available in color and black & white at good quantities.  The lens has a 50mm length.  There are no adjustable aperture settings, and it has one shutter speed: Slow.  This one is very clean inside, almost like it has never been used.  Bakelite has a ‘feel’ like nothing else, like plastic and glass mixed together.  The original Falcon Miniature was manufactured starting in 1939; this one is probably from the 1940s.  Price for this little piece of plastic history: One Dollar!

I’m going to run some black & white film through it to see what will happen 🙂

Petri 7S Rangefinder

Petri 7S Rangefinder

The Petri 7S is a Japanese 35mm rangefinder camera made by Kuribayashi in 1963.  It has a 45mm lens rated at f1.8;  that last number indicates that the lens is very sensitive to light, compared to its f2.8 sister that was also available at the time.  The clear tiles around the lens cover the camera’s light meter; it does not require batteries. Focusing is done with a dial on the side of the lens; when the adjustment is done, a small ghost image appears in the viewfinder.  Line up the image with the subject matter, and the camera is in focus.  Pretty slick.  Leica still makes cameras with digital image sensors that focus in the same way.

Price for the Petri?  Five bucks.  The threads on the lens end are bent, so it no longer can take screw-on filters.  But other than that it’s completely functional!

Reflekta II Twin Lens Reflex Camera

Reflekta II Twin Lens Reflex

The Reflekta II was made in East Germany between 1950 and 1954.  It is a medium-format camera, which uses readily-available 120 film.  Lens is a 75mm focal length.  The Twin Lens Reflex design allows the viewer to look down into the camera’s viewer on the top, and through the top lens.  The lower lens is the one that actually takes the picture.  While the outside condition shows wear, the inside is very clean.  Fully functional.  Fifteen dollars brought it home!

Spartus Folding Camera

Spartus No. 4 Folding Camera

The final surprise of our day at the swap meet was this “No. 4” folding camera made in 1949 by Spartus – which also made the Falcon Minette at the beginning of this post. The No. 4 takes 120 medium-format film, and takes eight shots per roll.  The camera looks more complicated than it actually is; user peers down into the viewer above and to the right of the lens in this picture.  There are only three aperture settings, and the camera has a “fixed focus” that is not adjustable (I told Jr. to shoot subjects from six feet away or more).  There is one shutter speed setting – about 1/100 of a second – but supposedly also has a timer setting.  On Saturday we shot a roll of 100-speed black & white, which will get developed this week.

Price: Fifteen dollars.

What I found most interesting was that the older TLRs and folding cameras were the cameras catching my son’s eye.  While I was looking for 1960s and 1970s rangefinder and SLR cameras and lenses, he was going totally old school.  I don’t mind, and I’ve already shown him how to shoot each one.  He’s having a blast!

About the Table – This magnificent table is smack dab in the middle of Cafe Cesura, a coffee shop in downtown Bellevue WA.  It appears to be one giant piece of wood, heavy and smooth.  This is where I sit to enjoy my Americano and Bacon muffin (Jr. has a bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola with real sugar).  Cafe Cesura also has salads and seasonal sandwiches.

So very tasty!

“Dad? What Does This Thing Do?”

The Texas Instruments TI-1025 calculator could add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It even could hold a number in memory, thanks to its 9-volt battery. I saved up and paid $9.99 for this at Pay n Save in 1977 in preparation for a math class.

For some reason I still have it.

The display is made of LED numbers. One recently sold on eBay for $15. If I ever find a 9-volt around my house I’m going to try it out.

Marx TV Tennis [1977]

TVTennis03

It wasn’t actually a TV, but it provided hours of entertainment for the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad and her brother.

The Marx TV Tennis game was released in 1975, as a completely mechanical version of the game Pong. The “ball” is actually an illuminated flashlight bulb connected by long rubber springs to the player’s control knobs.

This was a Christmas gift from their Mom in 1977.  Cost: $34.95 plus tax.  While the TV Tennis game itself is long gone, the box has been kicking around our garage now for as long as I can remember – holding various family stuff like toys and such.  But that too had to end, when the box started to fall apart. Before recycling it, I did the right thing and scanned all the artwork.

Enjoy the colors and the retro-tech!

TVTennis01 Stitch

An interactive game run by a series of rubber bands and plastic gears?  Choke on that, Android App 🙂

TVTennis04

TVTennis05 Stitch Stitch

The above picture was the entire side of the box.  To present it here, I had to to six different scans on my flatbed scanner and then stitch them together in Windows Live Photo Gallery.

TVTennis11 Stitch

The game was shipped to – and purchased from – Lake Hills Toys in Bellevue WA.  While the Sixties-era strip mall still exists, the store is gone.

TVTennis13 Stitch

Introducing The Big Wheels, the neighborhood gang who found TV Tennis to be the most amazing thing to ever hit the unfinished basements of suburbia.  Jeffrey exemplifies the insecure kid in the neighborhood who only had friends because he put on an air of intelligence.  He got beat up a lot. I have no idea what Wendy is talking about, since the most successful multi-tasking I’ve seen comes from Mrs. BelRedRoad.  Daniel, you’re 7.  Why on Earth would you watch real Tennis on TV?  Oh yeah…Chris Evert.  Noodles grew up to be high-powered track coach.

Shrimp is on the most epic riding toy. Ever.

Perk-A-Tor the Giant Percolator

2012-02-20 18.42.41

In my search for a percolator to have at my work cubicle, I came across this Cory Jubilee Automatic Percolator at Value Village.  It’s huge; at 18-cup capacity it’s twice the size of my beloved Perky!

2012-02-20 18.43.03

While the coffee strength dial is stuck just above “Medium,” the $5.00 purchase was a mere pittance compared to the $30.00 to $60.00 I’ve seen these Corys offered at on the Inter-Tubes.  Maybe I can fix it if I can take it apart, but I want to enjoy it for a while before doing that.

Listening to it brew is an adventure.

It rumbles to life as the water starts to heat.  As it pushes the water up the tube into the coffee chamber, the pressure pushes the lid up – making it crash back down. Several minutes later, as it finishes up, the boiling and perking gets to a near violent burst of liquid energy – only to slow to a stop before the strength dial starts to glow as an indicator that the work is done.

Clearly, it deserves the name “Perk-A-Tor!”

2012-02-20 18.22.39

Another endearing feature is the gold textured metal ring around the top of the unit, a sign that Cory designed it to make a lot of coffee in style.  This percolator will make a fine addition to my cubicle at work, where the coffee needs to taste much better!

1970s Smith-Corona Typewriters

Check out this this awesome ad from Smith-Corona Typewriters. Posted by Golden Oldie Ads!

Big Fifties Bomber and The Cold War Cowboy

“Well it was about that time when ole Clem mosied on down to the air strip to take a gander at one of them New-Q-Ler Bommers…”

One of the cutest Fifties pictures I’ve ever seen.  The little man has the stance, the hat and the weapons to remain part of popular culture well into the 21st Century.  I wonder if – as an adult – he realizes that his picture is all over the InterTubes these days.  And the object of his determined look?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the YB60 strategic bomber.

The YB60 was a jet-powered prototype version of the Convair B-36 Peacemaker.  Both planes – being integral to the defense of America during The Cold War – were designed to carry nuclear weapons.  While the B-36 enjoyed a fairly long career (1946 to 1959), the YB60 never got past experimental stage.

The official statement that went with this picture says,

A young “cowboy”, the son of a member of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, looks over the Convair built YB-60 during its visit at Edwards from the Fort Worth, Texas, plant.  1953

Ride `em Clem!!

—————-

US Air Force Photo, 1953 (Public Domain)
Original Image URL: www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/040315-F-9999G-008…

%d bloggers like this: